Expressionism

Franz Marc (German, 1880–1916). Four Foxes, 1913, Watercolour and chalk on paper, 44.4 x 38.7 cm | Indiana University Art Museum

Franz Marc, a German print maker and artist was one of the key figures in the German Expressionism Movement.

Like most of his work that shows an abstract interpretation of animals in their natural habitat without any distracting surroundings this piece follows true to his style of simplicity. He uses straight lines to form the pointed ears and noses of the foxes and the spikes in between, then he uses smooth sweeping lines to contrast those with the curves of the foxes body and tail. Thus adding a sense of balance to the shapes and at the same time it gives your eyes something to follow and explore around the image.

There is a little negative space above and below which frames the foxes and even though they are entwined together with sharp spike-like angles between them, he separates everything with highlights between the brown shading of the fox and the blue of the spikes which gives a sense of calm in relation to the content.

Bright bold colours are predominant in Franz Marcs work where he uses them to signify meaning,  this piece has more subdued colours in comparison to the majority of his work but is  striking nonetheless with the combination of only two colours and opposing lines.

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